1 Official Journal of the European Union C 311/1 I (Resolutions, recommendations and opinions) OPINIONS COUNCIL COUNCIL RESOLUTION of 27 November 2009 on a renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field ( ) (2009/C 311/01) THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, RECALLING the Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, of 27 June 2002 establishing a framework for European cooperation in the youth field ( 1 ), which included the application of the open method of coordination and mainstreaming of youth issues into other policies, and the European Youth Pact adopted by the March 2005 European Council ( 2 ) as one of the instruments contributing to the achievement of the Lisbon objectives for growth and jobs; the Renewed Social Agenda which targets youth and children as a main priority ( 3 ); and ACKNOWLEDGING the conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, of 11 May 2009 on the evaluation of the current framework for European cooperation in the youth field and on future perspectives for the renewed framework ( 4 ); RECOGNISES that 1. Young women and men have a crucial role to play in meeting the many socio-economic, demographic, cultural, environmental and technological challenges and opportunities facing the European Union and its citizens today and in the years ahead. Promoting the social and professional integration of young women and men is an essential component to reach the objectives of Europe s Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs, at the same time as promoting personal fulfilment, social cohesion and active citizenship. 2. The EU Youth Report 2009 ( 6 ) shows that, although a majority of today s young Europeans enjoy good living conditions, there are still challenges to be met such as youth unemployment, young people not participating in education or training, poverty among youth, low levels of participation and representation of young people in the democratic process and various health problems. Economic downturns, such as the one which began in 2008, tend to have a significant negative impact on young people and the effects risk being long term. WELCOMES the communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled An EU strategy for youth Investing and empowering. A renewed open method of coordination to address youth challenges and opportunities ( 5 ); ( 1 ) OJ C 168, , p. 2. ( 2 ) 7619/1/05. ( 3 ) 11517/08. ( 4 ) 9169/09. ( 5 ) 9008/ The current framework for European cooperation in the youth field has proved to be a valuable platform for the Member States in addressing youth-related issues and that the open method of coordination, the mainstreaming of youth issues into other policy areas and initiatives such as the European Youth Pact ( 7 ) have facilitated a flexible approach in a manner suited to the youth field, with due regard for the competences of the Member States and the principle of subsidiarity. ( 6 ) 9008/09 ADD 4. ( 7 ) 7619/05: Annex I to the European Council conclusions, March 2005.
2 C 311/2 Official Journal of the European Union A renewed framework setting out a strategy for European cooperation in the youth field over the next decade - while building on the progress made and experiences gained to date and while continuing to respect the Member States responsibility for youth policy - would further enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of such cooperation and provide increased benefits to young people in the European Union, especially in the context of the post-2010 Lisbon Strategy. 5. It is of vital importance to enable all young women and men to make the best of their potential. This entails not only investing in youth, by putting in place greater resources to develop policy areas that affect young people in their daily lives and improve their well being, but also empowering youth by promoting their autonomy and the potential of young people to contribute to a sustainable development of society and to European values and goals. It also calls for greater cooperation between youth policies and relevant policy areas, in particular education, employment, social inclusion, culture and health. ACCORDINGLY AGREES that 1. In the period up to and including 2018, the overall objectives of European cooperation in the youth field should be to: (i) create more and equal opportunities for all young people in education and in the labour market; and to (ii) promote the active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity of all young people. 2. The main fields of action in which initiatives should be taken are outlined below and detailed in Annex I hereto: Education and training, Employment and entrepreneurship, Health and well-being, Participation, Voluntary activities, Social inclusion, Youth and the world, Creativity and culture. 3. While fully respecting Member States responsibility for youth policy and the voluntary nature of European cooperation in the youth field, achieving the two interrelated overall objectives implies a dual approach involving the development and promotion of both: (i) specific initiatives in the youth field - i.e. policies and actions specifically targeted at young people in areas such as non-formal learning, participation, voluntary activities, youth work, mobility and information; and (ii) mainstreaming initiatives - i.e. initiatives to enable a cross-sectoral approach where due account is taken of youth issues when formulating, implementing and evaluating policies and actions in other policy fields which have a significant impact on the lives of young people. Building on the example of the European Youth Pact, a youth dimension should continue to be integrated in the post-2010 Lisbon Strategy and the Renewed Social Agenda as well as in relevant EU strategies and programmes, such as the new Strategic Framework for European cooperation in Education and Training, the Employment Guidelines, the Health Strategy and the Agenda for Culture. UNDERLINES that 1. European Youth Policy cooperation should be firmly anchored in the international system of human rights. A number of guiding principles should be observed in all policies and activities concerning young people, namely the importance of: (a) promoting gender equality and combating all forms of discrimination, respecting the rights and observing the principles recognised inter alia in Articles 21 and 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; (b) taking account of possible differences in the living conditions, needs, aspirations, interests and attitudes of young people due to various factors, paying particular attention to those who, for different reasons, may have fewer opportunities; (c) recognising all young people as a resource to society, and upholding the right of young people to participate in the development of policies affecting them by means of a continuous structured dialogue with young people and youth organisations. FURTHER AGREES that 1. In the period up to 2018 European cooperation in the youth field should be implemented by means of a renewed open method of coordination, and should draw on the overall objectives, dual approach and main fields of action outlined above. 2. European cooperation in the youth field should be evidence based, pertinent and concrete. It should produce clear and visible results which should be presented, reviewed and disseminated on a regular basis and in a structured manner, thereby establishing a basis for continuous evaluation and development. 3. The success of the open method of coordination in the youth field depends on the political commitment of Member States and on effective working methods at national and EU level. From this perspective, the working methods used in the context of European cooperation should be based on the following:
3 Official Journal of the European Union C 311/3 (i) Work cycles: The period up to 2018 will be divided into a series of 3-year cycles, with the first cycle covering the years from 2010 to 2012; (ii) Priorities: For each of these cycles, a number of priorities for European cooperation will be chosen which contribute to the fields of action identified under this framework. The priorities will be adopted by the Council on the basis of the relevant joint Council/Commission report - as referred to hereafter - and in cooperation with the representatives of the two Presidency trios covering the work cycle in question. These priorities for European cooperation will be designed to allow for cooperation between all the Member States or for closer cooperation between a more limited number of Member States (clusters), in accordance with national priorities. The priorities for the first part of the first work cycle under this new framework are set out in Annex II hereto. The priorities for the second part of this cycle will be presented and adopted by the Council at a later date; (iii) Implementation instruments: For the framework of cooperation to be effectively implemented, there is a need both for instruments in the specific youth field and for instruments in other related policy fields. In the specific youth field, the instruments are outlined in sub-paragraphs (a)-(g). These should be used to support the dual approach, i.e. to implement specific initiatives in the youth field, as well as to promote a cross-sectoral approach to support mainstreaming of a youth perspective in other related policy fields. In the mainstreaming work, the instruments should be used as a basis for dialogue with, and support for, other policy fields in order for these to integrate a youth perspective where and when relevant. (a) Knowledge building and evidence-based youth policy: Youth policy should be evidence-based. Better knowledge and understanding of the living conditions, values and attitudes of young women and men needs to be gathered and shared with other relevant policy fields so as to enable appropriate and timely measures to be taken. Such knowledge can be promoted inter alia via support to the European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy and its correspondents, EU-wide analytical capacity (Eurydice), youth research, studies, special European youth surveys and networks of researchers. The EU Youth Report will also be an essential contribution towards evidence-based policy making. Cooperation between relevant authorities, youth researchers, young people, youth organisations and those active in youth work should be promoted; (b) Mutual learning: Mutual learning is a key element in this framework of cooperation. It provides the opportunity to identify and learn from good practices in different Member States. Mutual learning will be carried out by such means as peer learning activities, conferences and seminars, high level forums or expert groups as well as through, studies and analyses, and web-based networks, with the involvement of relevant stakeholders. The subjects of these activities should be closely linked to the priorities for the respective three year work cycles. All of these initiatives should be developed with clear objectives and on the basis of clear mandates, time schedules and planned outputs to be proposed by the Commission in cooperation with the Member States. Policy dialogue with third countries and cooperation with international organisations such as the Council of Europe, OECD ( 1 ) and the United Nations should be continued, thereby providing a source of reference and inspiration; (c) Progress reporting: The European Union Youth Report should be drawn up by the Commission at the end of each work cycle - and in the case of the first under the new framework, in The EU Youth Report shall consist of two parts: A joint Council- Commission report (political part), and supporting documents (statistical and analytical part). The EU Youth report will evaluate progress made towards the overall objectives of the framework, as well as progress regarding the priorities defined for the most recent work cycle and identify good practises. The EU Youth Report should be based on national reports drawn up by the Member States in the youth field and in other relevant policy areas, as well as on other existing information and statistical data. Duplication of reporting obligations should be avoided. The EU Youth Report should also serve as a basis for establishing a set of priorities for the following work cycle; (d) Dissemination of results: To enhance visibility and impact of cooperation under this framework at local, regional, national and European level, the outcomes of cooperation should be widely disseminated among all relevant stakeholders and, where appropriate, discussed at the level of Directors-General or Ministers; (e) Monitoring of the process: To promote the delivery of results through the open method of coordination, as well as ownership of the method at both national and EU level, the Member States and the Commission will work closely together in steering, taking forward and evaluating the process and its outcomes. In this context, work should be carried out on the basis of existing indicators which have a bearing on the situation of young people in fields such as education, employment, health, social inclusion and, where appropriate, proposals should be developed on potential new indicators for consideration by the Council; ( 1 ) The right of participation in such work of all Member States should be ensured.
4 C 311/4 Official Journal of the European Union (f) Consultations and structured dialogue with young people and youth organisations: The structured dialogue with young people and youth organisations, which serves as a forum for continuous joint reflection on the priorities, implementation and follow-up of European cooperation in the youth field, should be pursued and developed. The themes of the dialogue should be aligned with the overall objectives of European cooperation in the youth field and the priorities for each work cycle. Clear objectives and realistic procedures should be established for each cycle of dialogue in order to ensure continuity and follow-up. The dialogue should be as inclusive as possible and developed at local, regional, national and EU level and include youth researchers and those active in youth work. Structured dialogue with young people and youth organisations in other policy fields should also be supported. The implementation of the structured dialogue is further outlined in Annex III; (g) Mobilisation of EU Programmes and Funds: Effective use should be made of available EU funds such as the Structural Funds, and of relevant programmes such as the Youth in Action, Lifelong Learning, Culture, Progress, Media, Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs and Competitiveness and Innovation programmes as well as the relevant EU Programmes and Funds in the areas of external relations and development cooperation. 4. For each 3 year cycle, instruments should, as far as possible, be used for work towards the priorities. 5. Under this framework of cooperation, supporting and developing youth work should be regarded as crosssectoral issues. Youth work is a broad term covering a large scope of activities of a social, cultural, educational or political nature both by, with and for young people. Increasingly, such activities also include sport and services for young people. Youth work belongs to the area of out-ofschool education, as well as specific leisure time activities managed by professional or voluntary youth workers and youth leaders and is based on non-formal learning processes and on voluntary participation. The ways in which youth work can contribute to achieving the overall objectives identified above - as well as be supported and recognised as an added value for its economic and social contribution - should be further examined and discussed under this framework. Among the issues to be discussed are: appropriate training for youth workers and leaders, the recognition of their skills using the appropriate European instruments, support for the mobility of youth workers and leaders and the promotion of innovative services and approaches for youth work. 6. The renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field may be reviewed and necessary adjustments made by the Council in the light of any major new developments in Europe, particularly decisions taken on a post Lisbon Strategy. ACCORDINGLY INVITES THE MEMBER STATES to 1. Work together, with the support of the Commission and using the open method of coordination as outlined in this Resolution, to enhance European cooperation in the youth field in the period up to 2018 on the basis of the overall objectives, the fields of action, the dual approach, principles and implementation instruments described above, and of the priorities agreed for each work cycle. 2. Adopt, on the basis of national priorities, measures at national level which can contribute to achieving the overall objectives outlined in the renewed framework, as well as consider whether inspiration can be drawn from mutual learning at EU level, when devising national policies in the youth field and other related policy areas. INVITES THE COMMISSION to 1. Work with and support the Member States - during the period up to in cooperating within this framework on the basis of the overall objectives, the fields of action, the dual approach, principles and implementation instruments described above, and the priorities agreed for each work cycle. 2. Examine, in particular through the EU Youth Report, the degree to which the overall objectives of this framework have been met. In this context the Commission is invited to set up a working group to discuss, in consultation with relevant policy areas, existing data on the situation of young people and the possible need for development of indicators in fields where they do not exist, or where no youth perspective is apparent. The results of this work and proposals on potential new indicators should be submitted for consideration by the Council no later than December Propose a flexible framework for peer-learning activities and launch studies relevant to the overall objectives and priorities, as well as to regularly report to the Council on these various activities. 4. Prepare in 2017, in association with Member States, a final evaluation report covering this framework of cooperation. The final evaluation report should be discussed by the Council in 2018.
5 Official Journal of the European Union C 311/5 ANNEX I YOUTH-RELATED AIMS AND POSSIBLE INITIATIVES FOR MEMBER STATES AND THE COMMISSION Many of the fields of action listed in paragraph 2 of the ACCORDINGLY AGREES section above and detailed further below clearly have their own overall objectives and priorities and are outlined in separate cooperation frameworks and strategies, and are addressed within their respective open methods of coordination. Efforts are however needed to ensure that a youth perspective is suitably maintained in each field. With this purpose in mind, this Annex proposes in section (A) a number of initiatives for all fields, followed in section (B) by a series of specific youth-related aims intended to clarify the youth dimension in each of the fields of action listed, together with a non-exhaustive list of possible initiatives which can be taken by Member States and/or the Commission within their respective competences and with due regard for the principle of subsidiarity. (a) General initiatives The following general initiatives should be considered in all the fields of action identified: Developing and strengthening cooperation between policy makers in the respective fields of action and youth policy makers, inter alia through improved dialogue and the sharing of knowledge and expertise, Encouraging and supporting the involvement and participation of young people and youth organisations in policy making, implementation and follow-up, Providing quality guidance and counselling services, Improving access to quality youth information and disseminating information through all possible channels at local, regional, national level, as well as through Europe-wide organisations such as Eurodesk, ERYICA and EYCA and other European networks, Strengthening cooperation with local and regional authorities, Supporting the development of better knowledge about the situation of young people, for instance through support to youth research, research networks, specific studies, etc., Supporting the development of youth work and recognising its value, Making effective use of, and facilitating access of young people to, available EU funds and programmes, Supporting development of experimental projects and programmes to try out new and innovative ideas and to exchange good practices, Recognising the value of bilateral and multilateral cooperation for European cooperation in the field of youth policy, Including, where appropriate, a children s policy dimension, having regard to their rights and protection taking into account that the life and future prospects of young people are significantly determined by the opportunities, support and protection received during childhood. (b) Youth-related aims and possible initiatives for each field of action EDUCATION AND TRAINING Aim: Equal access for young people to high quality education and training at all levels and opportunities for lifelong learning should be supported. As a complement to formal education, non-formal learning for young people should be promoted and recognised, and better links between formal education and non-formal learning developed. Young people s transition between education and training and the labour market should be facilitated and supported, and early school leaving reduced.
6 C 311/6 Official Journal of the European Union Support the development of youth work and other non-formal learning opportunities as one of a range of actions to address early school leaving, Fully use the range of tools established at EU level for the transparency and validation of skills and the recognition of qualifications ( 1 ), Promote learning mobility of all young people, Address gender and other stereotypes via formal education and non-formal learning, Use formal education and non-formal learning to promote cohesion and understanding across different groups, promote equal opportunities and narrow the gaps in achievement, Develop participative structures in education as well as cooperation between schools, families and local communities, Encourage formal education and non-formal learning in support of young people s innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, Make a broader public aware of the value of non-formal learning outcomes. The Commission will further develop Europass as a European instrument for the transparency of skills, including tools for the self-assessment of skills and the recording of competences by third parties such as Europass-Mobility Promoter Organisations. EMPLOYMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP Aim: Young people s integration into the labour market, either as employees or as entrepreneurs, should be supported. The transition from education and training, or from unemployment or inactivity, to the labour market should be facilitated and supported. Opportunities to reconcile working life with family life should be improved. In the post Lisbon Strategy a youth perspective needs to be ensured, and work carried out in line with the overall objectives of the European Youth Pact needs to be continued. Increase and improve investments in the provision of suitable skills for those jobs in demand on the labour market, with better matching in the short term and better anticipation in the longer term of the skills needed, Take the specific situation of young people into account when devising flexicurity strategies, Promote cross-border professional and vocational opportunities for young people, Develop short-term measures in their recovery plans to stimulate the integration of young people in the labour market as well as structural measures taking into account youth, Develop career guidance and counselling services, Lower barriers to the free movement of workers across the EU, Promote quality internships and apprenticeships to facilitate the entry to, and progress within, the labour market, Improve childcare and promote sharing of responsibilities between partners in order to facilitate reconciliation between professional and private life for both young women and young men, Support young people s entrepreneurship inter alia via entrepreneurship education, support to start up funds, mentoring programmes, and encourage recognition of junior enterprise, ( 1 ) The former being ensured through tools such as Europass, EQF or ECVET, and the latter by Directive 2005/36/EC.
7 Official Journal of the European Union C 311/7 Support development of European networks and structures to promote youth entrepreneurship, Promote entrepreneurship in the field of sustainable development. HEALTH AND WELL-BEING Aim: The health and well-being of young people should be supported, with a focus on the promotion of mental and sexual health, sport, physical activity and healthy life styles, as well as the prevention and treatment of injury, eating disorders, addictions and substance abuse. Follow up the Council Resolution on the health and well-being of young people ( 1 ) and encourage youth fitness and physical activity by applying the EU Physical Activity Guidelines ( 2 ), Take into account that health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity in activities to promote the health and well-being of young people, Encourage healthy lifestyles for young people via physical education, education on nutrition, physical activity and collaboration between schools, youth workers, health professionals and sporting organisations, Emphasise the role of sport as an activity supporting teamwork, intercultural learning, fair play and responsibility, Increase knowledge and awareness of youth workers and youth leaders of health issues, Mobilise stakeholders at local level in order to detect and help young people at risk and to signpost them to other services, where needed, Encourage peer-to-peer health education, Promote the protection of children and young people, in particular regarding the competences concerning new media and their protection against certain dangers arising from the use of new media, while also recognising the benefits and opportunities new media can offer young people, e.g. through the follow-up of the Council conclusions of 21 May 2008 and 27 November 2009 on media literacy in the digital environment, Facilitate access to existing health facilities by making them more youth friendly. PARTICIPATION Aim: Young people s participation in representative democracy and civil society at all levels and in society at large should be supported. Develop mechanisms for dialogue with youth and youth participation on national youth policies, Encourage use of already existing, or development of, guidelines on youth participation, information and consultation in order to ensure the quality of these activities, Support politically and financially youth organisations, as well as local and national youth councils and promote recognition of their important role in democracy, Promote the participation of more and a greater diversity of young people in representative democracy, in youth organisations and other civil-society organisations, Make effective use of information and communication technologies to broaden and deepen participation of young people, ( 1 ) OJ C 319, , p. 1. ( 2 ) Recommended Policy Actions in Support of Health-Enhancing Physical Activity, 2008.
8 C 311/8 Official Journal of the European Union Support various forms of learning to participate from early age through formal education and non-formal learning, Further develop opportunities for debate between public institutions and young people. The Commission will revise the European Youth Portal and promote greater outreach to young people. VOLUNTARY ACTIVITIES Aim: Young people s voluntary activities should be supported and better recognised for their value as an important form of non-formal learning. Obstacles to voluntary activities should be removed and the cross-border mobility of young people promoted. Promote the recognition of skills acquired through voluntary activities through instruments such as Europass, Youthpass and Member State funded instruments, Implement the Council Recommendation on the mobility of young volunteers in Europe ( 1 ), Raise awareness about the value of voluntary activities, including through peer-to-peer processes, Promote protection of young volunteers and quality in voluntary activities, Engage young people and youth organisations in the planning, delivery and evaluation of the future European Year of Voluntary Activities Promoting Active Citizenship (2011), Promote intergenerational solidarity through voluntary activities. SOCIAL INCLUSION Aim: The social exclusion and poverty of young people and the transmission of such problems between generations should be prevented and mutual solidarity between society and young people strengthened. Equal opportunities for all should be promoted and all forms of discrimination combated. Realise the full potential of youth work and youth centres as means of inclusion, Adopt a cross-sectoral approach when working to improve community cohesion and solidarity and reduce the social exclusion of young people, addressing the interlinkages between e.g. young people s education and employment and their social inclusion, Support the development of intercultural awareness and competences for all young people and combat prejudice, Support information and education activities for young people about their rights, Address the issues of homelessness, housing and financial exclusion, Promote access to quality services e.g. transport, e-inclusion, health, social services, Promote specific support for young families, Engage young people and youth organisations in the planning, delivery and evaluation of European Year of Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion (2010). YOUTH AND THE WORLD Aim: Young people s participation in and contribution to global processes of policy-making, implementation and followup (concerning issues such as climate change, the UN Millennium Development Goals, human rights, etc.) and young people s cooperation with regions outside of Europe should be supported. ( 1 ) OJ C 319, , p. 8.
9 Official Journal of the European Union C 311/9 Raise the awareness of young people about global issues such as sustainable development and human rights, Provide opportunities for young people to exchange views with policy-makers on global issues (e.g. via participation in international meetings, virtual platforms/forums, etc.), Foster mutual understanding among young people from all over the world through dialogue and by means of supporting actions such as training courses, exchanges, and meetings, Encourage young people to participate in green volunteering and green patterns of consumption and production (e.g. recycling, energy conservation, hybrid vehicles, etc.), Promote entrepreneurship, employment, education and volunteering opportunities with regions outside of Europe, Promote cooperation with, and exchanges between, those active in youth work on different continents, Encourage young people to participate in development cooperation activities either in their country of residence or abroad. CREATIVITY AND CULTURE Aim: Young people s creativity and capacity for innovation should be supported through better quality access to and participation in culture and cultural expressions from an early age, thereby promoting personal development, enhanced learning capabilities, intercultural skills, understanding and respect for cultural diversity and the development of new and flexible skills for future job opportunities. Support the development of creativity among young people by following up the Council conclusions on promoting a Creative Generation: developing the creativity and innovative capacity of children and young people through cultural expression and wider access to culture ( 1 ), Widen quality access to culture and creative tools, particularly those involving new technologies, and develop opportunities for youth people to experience culture and express and develop their creativity within or outside school, Make new technologies readily available to empower young people s creativity and capacity for innovation, and attract interest in culture, the arts and science, Provide access to environments where young people can develop their creativity and interests and spend a meaningful leisure time, Facilitate long-term synergies between policies and programmes in the fields of culture, education, health, social inclusion, media, employment and youth with the view to promoting young people s creativity and capacity for innovation, Promote specialised training in culture, new media and intercultural competences for youth workers, Promote partnerships between culture and creative sectors and youth organisations and youth workers, Facilitate and support development of young people s talent and entrepreneurial skills with a view to enhancing their employability and future job opportunities, Promote young people s knowledge about culture and cultural heritage in the different EU Member States, including through the use of new technologies. ( 1 ) 14453/09.
10 C 311/10 Official Journal of the European Union ANNEX II PRIORITIES FOR EUROPEAN COOPERATION IN THE YOUTH FIELD DURING THE PERIOD 1 JANUARY JUNE 2011 Overall priority Youth Employment The overall thematic priority for European cooperation in the youth field for the period 1 January June 2011 will be youth employment. During these 18 months, this topic will be discussed in the framework of the structured dialogue. Specific priorities should, wholly or partially, contribute to the overall thematic priority. 1 January June 2010 Social Inclusion During the first half of 2010 the following issues will be highlighted: Strengthening the European Youth Pact within the context of the post-2010 Lisbon Strategy, Social inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities, The role of local and regional authorities in youth policy, Cooperation with the Latin American countries. 1 July December 2010 Youth Work During the second half of 2010 the following issues will be highlighted: Youth work and the accessibility of youth work and activities to the poorest children and young people, Young people s access to culture. 1 January June 2011 Participation During the first half of 2011 the following issues will be highlighted. Citizenship and participation of young people, with an emphasis on social, economic, cultural and political participation and human rights, Voluntary activities of young people their contribution to the development of local communities.
11 Official Journal of the European Union C 311/11 ANNEX III IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRUCTURED DIALOGUE The overall guiding principles for the structured dialogue with young people and youth organisations are outlines in paragraph 3 (iii) (f) of the FURTHER AGREES section above. In this annex the implementation of the structured dialogue at national and EU level is further developed. The structured dialogue should be based on work-cycles of 18 months with an overall theme corresponding to the overall priorities for European cooperation for the 18 month period in question. Each Presidency may also choose a specific priority theme, linked to the overall theme, for its term of office. The structured dialogue should involve consultations with young people and youth organisations at all levels in the Member States, and at EU Youth Conferences organised by Presidency countries and during the European Youth Week. With a view to improving the implementation of the structured dialogue, within their respective competences and with due regard to the principle of subsidiarity: the Commission is invited to convene a European Steering Committee for each 18-month period consisting of inter alia representatives of the Trio Presidency countries Ministries for Youth Affairs, National Youth Councils and National Agencies for the Youth in Action Programme, as well as representatives of the European Commission and the European Youth Forum. Where appropriate, youth researchers and youth workers will be consulted. The European Steering Committee is responsible for the overall coordination of the structured dialogue. The Steering Committee will set up a support structure with trainers and facilitators that can give methodological support and provide continuity in the organisation of the structured dialogue at the EU level, Member States are invited to support the establishment of a small National Working Group. These groups can, where applicable, utilise existing structures and be composed of inter alia representatives of Ministries for Youth Affairs, National Youth Councils, local and regional youth councils, youth organisations, those active in youth work, diverse young people and youth researchers. Member States are encouraged to, whenever possible, give National Youth Councils a leading role in these groups. The National Working Groups would have the task of securing the participatory process in the Member States, The Commission and Member States are invited, in cooperation with all actors involved, to continuously follow-up the structured dialogue and to gather and disseminate good practices.